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APHELION

Leprous

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Leprous Aphelion album cover
3.80 | 122 ratings | 7 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Running Low (6:30)
2. Out of Here (4:16)
3. Silhouette (3:45)
4. All the Moments (6:52)
5. Have You Ever? (4:42)
6. The Silent Revelation (5:45)
7. The Shadow Side (4:29)
8. On Hold (7:48)
9. Castaway Angels (4:53)
10. Nighttime Disguise (7:04)

Total Time 56:04

Mediabook CD & Vinyl bonus tracks:
11. A Prophecy to Trust (2:59)
12. Acquired Taste (live 2021) (9:09)

Line-up / Musicians

- Einar Solberg / lead vocals, synth
- Tor Oddmund Suhrke / guitar
- Robin Ognedal / guitar
- Simen Daniel Børven / bass
- Baard Kolstad / drums

With:
- Henriette Lindstad Børven / violin
- Ellen Fjærvoll Samdal / violin
- Raphael Weinroth-Browne / cello
- Karen Suhrke / cello
- Pål Gunnar Fiksdal / trumpet

Releases information

Label: Inside Out Music
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
August 27, 2021

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LEPROUS Aphelion ratings distribution


3.80
(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

LEPROUS Aphelion reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A new release from Scandanavia's kings of stop and go, delicate and harsh, whisper and scream.

1. "Running Low" (6:30) tension's running high in this one. I like the heavy use of strings--and the use of hits to the piano bed as a baseline. Interesting that as the tension mounts Einar's voice gets softer, exhibiting more frailty. The chorus, however, disappoints. Great cello solo in the sixth minute. (8.75/10)

2. "Out of Here" (4:16) Einar at his best. How talented this singer is! (8.5/10)

3. "Silhouette" (3:45) a little foray into the Steven Wilson world of electronica--with, of course, the advantage of having the vocal acrobaticist, Einar Solberg. Interesting that the "real" drums happen to be great. (8.5/10)

4. "All the Moments" (6:52) a little raunch with some bayou pedal steel? Let those drums shine! Finally, a great chorus with awesome amped up walls of sound! The quiet, spacious, delicate verses feel a bit at odds with the power of the choruses. Weird song. Not sure it works. (13/15)

5. "Have You Ever?" (4:42) more noise electronica to open before odd percussives and odd synth horns begin to join. Einar enters in a gentle, soft voice. (Man! This guy is so versatile!) Middle Eastern strings join in at the end of the first verse. Interesting but somehow incomplete--underdeveloped. (8.5/10)

6. "The Silent Revelation" (5:45) unusual: this one opens as a kind of old-style rocker, but then it goes soft and sparse with typical Leprous-style overdrive choruses. Strings accompany the quiet second verse, but then band rams home the second chorus and continues to leave the instruments up to 11 despite a cool strings-accompanied vocalise section leading up to the end. (8.75/10)

7. "The Shadow Side" (4:29) a perfect balance between rock instrumentation and strings accompaniment is established from the beginning through the first chorus. Then an especially quiet, delicate second verse is followed by two heavier sections. The strings remain prominent. Nice segue into a gritty guitar solo in the fourth minute, followed by eerie strings to finish. Cool! (9/10)

8. "On Hold" (7:48) great vocal melody from the start over sparse electro-programmed tuned percussives and computer bass. A great song--truly unusual and intriguing weave--with, of course, another stupendous vocal performance by Mr. Solberg. (I find quite a little comparability with That Joe Payne.) Beautiful use of strings after the second chorus through the fifth and sixth minutes. My favorite song on the album. (14/15)

9. "Castaway Angels" (4:53) delicate acoustic guitar arpeggi with Einar's almost-whispered vocals open this one. Incredible slow build to perfect finish. The best song on the album. (10/10)

10. "Nighttime Disguise (7:04) old-style djenty Leprous returns! (And is welcomed!) I like Einar's subdued vocals in the first section. Interesting dynamic choices (plus, a return of the Einar growl), coupled with a disappointing chorus (why that kind of emotion for the words "nighttime disguise"?) (13/15)

Total Time 56:04

Creative and different, I still think Einar Solberg has one of the five best singing voices in modern prog. The band's use of strings throughout the album--as well as their increasing use of computer-enhanced programmed sounds--is a combination that I think works--and that I hope they will continue to explore. But then, anything behind the singing talents of Mr. Solberg might work. Anything.

B+/4.5 stars; another excellent album release from these prog pioneers--highly recommended for any prog lover to check out for themselves.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars LEPROUS still seems to be going strong after 20 years of existence and although the band led by lead singer Einar Solberg has been hailed as one of Norway's greatest modern progressive metal bands, the last few albums starting with "Molina" have seen a massive shedding of much of the metal and taken on more standard progressive rock as its modus operandi. With the band's eighth album to emerge in 2021, LEPROUS seems to de-emphasize the metal even further and adds all kinds of new sounds including but not limited to pop, funk, trip hop, electronica along with the progressive rock shining with a crispy clean production and the spotlight on Solberg's passionate vocal delivery.

There are still metal sounds on board however the moments of djent and guitar heft are primarily limited to power chords and the scant guitar workouts that offer a bit of contrast to the otherwise new LEPROUS sound of crafting highly sophisticated art rock with strong pop hooks. Long gone are the days of unabashed metal freneticism as heard on "Tall Poppy Syndrome" and "Bilateral." APHELION rather delivers an interesting and original hybrid between progressive rock, synthpop and what sounds like chamber rock. In addition the five official members who handle guitars, bass, drums and synthesizer includes a team of five guest musicians who offer the sounds of violin, cello and even a trumpet.

The result is an emotive display of ten tracks that in many ways follows both in "Malina" and "Pitfalls" in the mellowed LEPROUS years and for many a metal band gone this direction would've resulted in a total train wreck and scaring away of the fanbase, but LEPROUS proved long ago that this was no ordinary act and had the uncanny ability to tackle myriad sounds, timbres, textures and tones and fortify substantial composiitons delivered in a unique and oft unorthodox manner all without abandoning the pop sensibilities that have kept their music so addictive upon first experiences. Excluding the three year timespan between the band's true debut "Aeolia" and "Tall Poppy Syndrome," LEPROUS has also delivered like clockwork with a new album ever two years.

The band has released two singles off APHELION which means the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is farthest from the sun. The first was "Running Low" which shows LEPROUS in fine form in its new style with progressive rock hooks married with power chords, emotive synthesized atmospheres accompanied by the string section that delivers an excellent cello solo. With so much energy dedicated to the electronica wizardry and dedication to the perfect atmospheric ambience does tend to ignore the rock aspects much less the metal but with the second single "The Silent Revelation" the band does deliver a bit of rock guitar heft even if it seems like the odd track out on the otherwise sombre and earnest tracks tenderly crafted with the crooning moxie of Mr Solberg.

In many ways LEPROUS has followed some of the nu jazz artists from Norway such as Jaga Jazzist only it has left out the jazz but rather paints synthesized motifs around the borders of where certain jazz parts should fit. By now most older fans of LEPROUS have either adapted to the new style or thrown them out with yesterday's trash. I do personally prefer the older more aggressive LEPROUS sound but i have to admit that these guys have done an excellent job reinventing themselves as a serious art pop rock band this late in the game. While on the mellow and even maudlin side, APHELION does a stellar job of mixing synthesized driven pop hooks with chamber rock mojo. Perhaps what turns me off most about the "new" LEPROUS is that Solberg's vocals are almost set to permanent falsetto sounding something like a Norwegian version of Prince. I can live without the metal aspects but the vocal diversity? Needs more.

3.5 rounded down

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Before I wrote this review, I looked back at what I had said about 2019's 'Pitfalls', then wondered if I should just copy and paste the same words and see if anyone noticed, as pretty much everything I said back then fits in with this 2021 album. There is no doubt that Einar Solberg is an incredible singer, with an effortless falsetto which is clean and pure, but the band who once produced modern prog metal have long since disappeared. Actually, they have, as apart from Einar, only Tor Oddmund Suhrke (guitars) is still there from the line-up which produced 'Coal' in 2013, which in all fairness was their last strong release, at least to my mind.

Leprous have done a Marillion on us, so that the music is now very much a vehicle for wonderful vocals, as opposed to being a collected whole. Aside from the vocals, the music is often quite mundane, and middle of the road as opposed to being the driving force it used to be. There is nothing dramatic and exciting here anymore, but rather it feels much more like a solo album than a band release. The music is not nearly as sophisticated as it used to be and contains so many modern commercial sounds that it is rarely prog at all, and when the guitars do make a passionate entrance such as on "Out of Here" it just shows what we are missing. I finished my review of 'Pitfalls" with the words "I worry about what the next one will bring" and having now heard it, I fear I was right. There will be a great deal of Leprous fans out there who feel this is wonderful, the same way Marillion fans always say the latest album is brilliant ? but I have long lost any interest in anything coming out from that band, and I feel Leprous are now in the same camp.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Here is a great opportunity for symphonic prog and/or heavy prog and/or crossover prog fans to get to know Einar Solberg's vocals. He has a vast capacity to go from low to high tones very naturally. The way his chant can be so strong even when it looks like he is almost whispering, I just can't ... (read more)

Report this review (#2856890) | Posted by arymenezes | Thursday, December 8, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Listening diary 19th September 2021: Leprous - Aphelion (art rock, 2021) I don't think I'm going to make my feelings on this concrete just yet - Leprous are definitely a band that needs time and context, and given I've been saying "this is their weakest album yet" with every release since 2013' ... (read more)

Report this review (#2595648) | Posted by Gallifrey | Monday, September 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars LEPROUS is the mega band founded in 2001 playing on extreme tech at the start. They have approached IHSAHN and EMPEROR closely and make music that is almost unclassifiable, flirting prog metal then art music with a complex range, hard, djent, pop with the voice of Einar recounting his existentia ... (read more)

Report this review (#2590350) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, August 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The aphelion is the point in the orbit of a celestial body most distant from the Sun, so that, no matter where the body moves next, it must get closer to the Sun. With the title of their seventh full-length album, Leprous splendidly capture the bleakness of our current difficult state of affairs, wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#2589546) | Posted by lukretio | Friday, August 27, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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